Wednesday, April 22, 2009

GP42's ready for Audi MedCup Circuit stage one

Final preparations are underway among the six teams competing in the GP 42 Series for Stage One of the upcoming 2009 Audi MedCup Circuit. The field is diverse yet competitive, with both new teams and established teams hailing from Europe and Asia getting ready to converge for racing in 3 weeks in Alicante.

“Our teams are very excited and eager to start racing,” said GP42 Manager Paolo Massarini. “They have been working on their boats and forming up their teams in expectation of a very high level of competition.”

Like their larger bretheren the TP 52’s, the GP 42’s are a highly-competitive evolutionary box-rule class, where the boats must measure to within narrow design tolerances to comply to class rules for level racing. However, these tolerances do allow for subtle differences between boats, which in the hands of clever designers and sailors can be exploited to optimize performance. So many teams have spent the past winter making changes to their boats to optimize for this year based new ideas on what they learned from last season’s racing, upgrades to their sails and equipment, and how they think the race conditions may be different in this year’s MedCup venues.

On Filippo Faruffini’s Italian-based Farr design Roma 2, for example, even though the boat was new for last year incisions were made to the hull’s stern section and the boat narrowed aft in order to reduce wetted surface and enhance light air performance. On José María van der Ploeg’s Spanish Turismo Madrid, this 2007 Botin & Carkeek design will have a new mast and other modifications which “will be made public later,” according to the team.

And on Roberto Monti’s Italian-based Airis, designed by Umberto Felci, the team is opting to work with a sailmaker new to the GP 42s, Olimpic Sails, because “they are very keen to give their full devotion to get a good product to use for the limited sail buttons allowed in this class,” said skipper Cameron Appleton. Read more...